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Dodgers: Monday morning news and notes

March 7, 2011 |  9:37 am

The Dodgers make their first visit Monday to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the newest jewel of the Cactus League. They'll play the Colorado Rockies, with Ted Lilly making his spring debut. Lilly sat out what would have been his first start because of the flu but later worked in a B game.

James Loney, recovering from a swollen left knee, is working out Monday but not running. He remains on track to return to the lineup Wednesday.

In his place, Hector Gimenez starts at first base, the seventh Dodger to play the position this spring. Gimenez, signed as a free agent last fall, is primarily a catcher, but he has played first base and third base in his minor league career, and his switch-hitting could enhance his status on the Dodgers' depth chart.

"He's interesting, because he swings the bat well," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "The catching part, you kind of know. We want to see what else he can do."

Gimenez, 28, batted .305 with 16 home runs at double-A Altoona last season.

Hong-Chih Kuo threw a bullpen session on Monday morning and is scheduled to make his spring debut on Wednesday. The Dodgers have held their All-Star setup man out of games thus far to minimize the stress on his left arm, which has endured four operations.

-- Bill Shaikin in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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